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In a Strange RoomModernism's Corpses and Mortal Obligation$
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David Sherman

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199333882

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199333882.001.0001

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. The State’s Unending Vigil: Owen’s and Woolf’s Unknown Warrior

. The State’s Unending Vigil: Owen’s and Woolf’s Unknown Warrior

(p.43) 1. The State’s Unending Vigil: Owen’s and Woolf’s Unknown Warrior
In a Strange Room

David Sherman

Oxford University Press

This chapter compares Wilfred Owen’s war poetry, Virginia Woolf’s Jacob’s Room, and officially sponsored war art as responses to the British state’s monopoly over the war dead. It analyzes the rhetorical structure and power of the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, as an object of Owen’s and Woolf’s political critique. The chapter elaborates on Foucault’s concept of biopolitics in terms of thanatopolitics, with a focus on the state’s use of the war dead to fashion its subjects.

Keywords:   war, thanatopolitics state, Owen, Woolf, Foucault

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